WEDNESDAY, December 22, 2021 (HealthDay News) – A new program to increase the supply of cancer drugs to children in low- and middle-income countries has been announced by the World Health Organization (WHO) and St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital.
The hospital is making an investment of $ 200 million over six years to launch the Global platform for access to medicines against childhood cancer, which will provide drugs free of charge to participating countries in the pilot phase. It is the largest financial commitment for a global childhood cancer drug effort to date, according to the hospital.
“Almost nine in ten children with cancer live in low- and middle-income countries,” WHO director-general Tedros Adhanom Ghebreyesus said in a press release from the hospital.
“Survival in these countries is less than 30%, compared to 80% in high-income countries. This new platform, which builds on the success of the Global Childhood Cancer Initiative launched with St. Jude in 2018, will help correct this unacceptable imbalance and give hope to several thousand parents facing the devastating reality of a child with cancer, ”he added.
Each year, an estimated 400,000 children worldwide develop cancer, but most childhood cancer patients living in low- and middle-income countries cannot always afford or afford cancer drugs. That makes almost 100,000 deaths each year.
During the platform’s initial two-year pilot phase, childhood cancer the drugs will be purchased and distributed in 12 countries. Discussions are underway to determine which countries will participate in this pilot phase. Other countries will be added later.
By the end of 2027, the platform is expected to have provided medicines to around 120,000 children in 50 countries.
Dr. Carlos Rodriguez-Galindo is Executive Vice President and Chairman of the Department of Global Pediatric Medicine at St. Jude and Director of St. Jude Global. He said: “Unless we address the shortage and poor quality of cancer drugs in many parts of the world, there are very few options for curing these children. Health care providers must have access to a reliable source of cancer drugs that are the current standard. We in St. Jude, along with our co-founding partners in WHO and many vital partners around the world, can help achieve this goal. “
The World Health Organization has more on childhood cancer.
SOURCE: St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, press release, December 13, 2021